Ronnie faces Trump in eighth world final

Race for the Crucible hots up

Ronnie O’Sullivan is just one win away from a seventh Betfred World Championship after beating John Higgins 17-11 to secure his spot in Sunday’s final against Judd Trump (Match betting – Trump 5/4, O’Sullivan 4/6)

In seeing off Higgins, O’Sullivan became the oldest finalist since Ray Reardon, with the Welshman having reached the 1982 final aged 49.

Resuming 15-9 ahead, the world number one claimed two of the first four frames in the evening session to seal the victory.

Higgins described O’Sullivan (11/1 – to win 18-14) as “lethal” in his post-match interview and it was an accurate way to sum up the six-time champion.

A victory this weekend at the Crucible would see O’Sullivan equal Stephen Hendry’s record of seven world titles which has stood since 1999.

Earlier on Saturday, 2019, winner Trump beat Mark Williams in a final-frame decider 17-16.

Williams trailed 12-5 on Friday and nearly staged the biggest ever Crucible semi-final comeback by winning 11 of the next 14 frames.

However, Trump (21/20 – to have the highest break) benefitted from two cross doubles in the final frame to book his spot in Sunday’s showpiece.

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O’Sullivan was quick to play down the prospect of winning a seventh title and he expects Trump to push him all the way.

He told World Snooker: “This tournament is the real deal; it’s great to do well in it.

“I’m hitting the ball ok in patches. There are spells when I feel really good and others when it’s harder. That’s just the nature of snooker and getting older.

“I am calling on my experience to try to become a tidier player. I am not as fearless as I used to be, so I have to make up for that in other areas.

“Judd is more attacking and aggressive than me; he has got more cue power, so he can play shots that I can’t. We both go for our shots and try to win frames in one visit.

“Sometimes we have to pull shots out of the bag to keep the break going, while other players might bail out and play safe. If we both play to 80 per cent of our game, it will be amazing.”

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Author: Lucas Carlson